AN assistant cafe manager who reported a "phantom" robbery to gardai when he had stolen the money himself has been sentenced to three years in prison with the final 18 months suspended.
Catering student Chandravee Jhurry (28), a Mauritian national, with a former address at Cill Ard, Bohermore, Galway, pleaded guilty at Galway Circuit Criminal Court to three charges of theft of cash from Boutique Cafe, Newtownsmith, Galway last year.
Garda Gerry Carroll said Jhurry called to the station on October 10 last year and said he had been robbed of the cafe's takings by three youths at a car park near the shopping centre. There was no CCTV coverage in the area.
Aisling Duddy, manager of the cafe, told Gda Carroll that the cash takings from the business, totalling €13,452, had not been produced by the accused for three to four weeks prior to this.
Jhurry was arrested and immediately admitted the robbery had never taken place.
During interview, Jhurry said he needed money to further his studies here and to fund his brother's new restaurant. He said he took some money but when that was gone he took more and gambled that in the hope of winning all of the money back.
Gda Carroll said Jhurry was now illegally in the country and while he got in contact with the immigration authorities in October 2011 in relation to the man's status, he had heard nothing back.
Judge Gerard Griffin said his hands were tied by the Supreme Court in that he could not have Jhurry deported, a move he said, which would save the taxpayer a lot of money.